Our programs influence the lives of many residents and visitors to NW Colorado. Yampatika has three main program areas; advancing environmental literacy with youth; connecting people to nature; and providing experiential learning opportunities at Legacy Ranch.
Advancing Environmental Literacy with Youth
Our goal is to ensure that every child has access to consistent, quality, environmental education. Yampatika’s largest school-based program is our Environmental Literacy Program. this program is offered to all K-5 public school classrooms in Routt County. Yampatika’s program has become the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) curriculum for all Routt County elementary schools. The ELP has proven to significantly improve students’ academic achievement, commitment to their communities and involvement in service-learning. More than 50% of the youth served through the ELP are from low and moderate income households. Annually, more than 1,150 youth participate in the ELP program. In addition to ELP, Yampatika offers other Environmental Education programs to private and charter schools adapted to meet their needs. In 2016, Yampatika began offering a 23-week program to a new Montessori Charter school in Steamboat Springs. Overall, more than 2,000 youth in NW Colorado participated in school-based programs last year.
Connecting People to Nature
Yampatika’s adult field schools offer a wide range of year-round hands-on outdoor activities, such as wildflower and medicinal herb walks, bird watching, hunting for wild mushrooms, and ski and snowshoe tours. Yampatika provides unique and quality services to residents and visitors which are offered in partnership with area businesses such as the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, community groups like the Tread of Pioneers Museum, and government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service. By ensuring that what we offer is partnership-driven and need-based, we avoid duplicating services with the many educational organizations in our community. Last year, more than 1,500 adults participated in these programs.
Providing Experiential Learning Opportunities at Legacy Ranch
Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Legacy Ranch resides on a 132-acre hay meadow. There we provide service-learning opportunities, summer camps, and 4H ranch & livestock stewardship. Yampatika provides programs for youth and adults that create appreciation for our community’s history, ranching heritage and local environment. There are very few places left in close proximity to town where children can take part in activities associated with ranching and farming. Adults can visit the site for a self-guided walking tour. Thanks to an innovative partnership between Yampatika and the City of Steamboat Springs, the site has transformed from a historic site into an educational learning center that brings history, agriculture, environmental learning, open space preservation, sustainability, and community service to life.